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    EvansMom's Avatar
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    Food struggles with a 5 yr old

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    Well similar to Dr. Bork Bork's discussion, my kid is always hungry too, but NEVER for protein. It is literally a struggle for me to get him to eat it. Meals are a struggle. He wants to graze all day on fruits, veggies, yoghurt, and carbs, but never meat. I force him to eat meat at this stage, which I don't think is setting him up for a healthy relationship with food.

    We have some other problems with eating too. He literally wears me down about food. I can't get him to stay at the table & focus on his food. He watches for me to be distracted then plays instead of eating, fidgets, gets up if I go into the kitchen, etc. etc. I eventually leave him alone at the table until he finishes his meat, which I make him eat all of (small portion, much less than he should be eating). A little while later he then complains he is still hungry and asks for treats, but ultimately gets an apple instead (usually). This always happens at night. He wants a second dinner after the first dinner struggles. I am not sure if it is just a ploy to stall bedtime or actual hunger. Although he does wholf down an apple, carrots, etc. Why can't he just sit and eat at dinner?

    Food stuggles are so much stress at home. He wants a treat, I say finish your dinner first, he sits around and picks at it, then says he is full, I say no treat, he cries, he comes back and wants an apple, yoghurt or fruit, then wants his treat. AHHHHH. It sucks.

    I want him to have a good relationship with food and we are on the wrong track here. He cannot be primal because I don't want to force him down that path, but he eats smaller amounts of grains than many other kids. I guess the most disturbing part is that he sits and eats without playing at school and doesn't have battles there. I literally cook the same food and he refuses to eat mine, yet she cooks eggs & ham and he eats it up. Why is this such a struggle? This is a total stressor in my life!

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    jes1014's Avatar
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    I have NO advise but wanted to let you know that you are not alone! I'm facing the same struggles with my 5 yr old boy. Hopefully, it's a phase!!
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    Rusulka's Avatar
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    I have the exact same problem with my 7 year old. If you find an answer, please share!

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    fuzzylogic's Avatar
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    Mealtime. 30 minutes. If he doesn't eat, he's done. If he whines and complains, he's done. Take away the food and wait at least an hour, preferably two. He honestly won't starve and hunger is a good thing since then he'll eat. Serve the least favorite thing first along with a very small portion of something else. If he doesn't eat it all, tell him you can't waste more food since he wasn't hungry enough to eat the first food.

    In two hours, if he's hungry, offer him his dinner again. No other choices...no apples, yogurt, treat food. just what he would have gotten. Start on a friday night of a long weekend.

    It is a struggle because it pushes your buttons, he knows it and it is a power play. If he doesn't eat, he doesn't eat. He'll be hungry eventually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzylogic View Post
    Mealtime. 30 minutes. If he doesn't eat, he's done. If he whines and complains, he's done. Take away the food and wait at least an hour, preferably two. He honestly won't starve and hunger is a good thing since then he'll eat. Serve the least favorite thing first along with a very small portion of something else. If he doesn't eat it all, tell him you can't waste more food since he wasn't hungry enough to eat the first food.

    In two hours, if he's hungry, offer him his dinner again. No other choices...no apples, yogurt, treat food. just what he would have gotten. Start on a friday night of a long weekend.

    It is a struggle because it pushes your buttons, he knows it and it is a power play. If he doesn't eat, he doesn't eat. He'll be hungry eventually.


    Yes to what is mentioned above. I have 3 kids, 6 yrs and under and we started doing this a year ago and it ha made all the difference.

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    EvansMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzylogic View Post
    It is a struggle because it pushes your buttons, he knows it and it is a power play. If he doesn't eat, he doesn't eat. He'll be hungry eventually.
    Yes it is. And it is miserable when we are strict, because he will take it to a whole nother level of misbehaving. For WEEKS literally.

    I am fairly concerned that I am setting him up for an unhealthy attitude towards food by forcing the meat issue...not sure what to do about that.

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    tarek's Avatar
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    I'm not a parent, but maybe you could try making him some whole food vegetarian/vegan meals? Try something based around potatoes or sweet potatoes with fruit and coconut milk for dessert. If you give him grains, nuts, or seeds, try to make sure they're sprouted (or soaked overnight, at the very least).

    As far as the food he eats at school, there could be any number of addictive flavor additives used in their food. As sad as it is, that could very well be why he enjoys their food but not yours.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by tarek; 05-02-2012 at 11:52 AM.

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    Clymb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvansMom View Post
    Yes it is. And it is miserable when we are strict, because he will take it to a whole nother level of misbehaving. For WEEKS literally.

    I am fairly concerned that I am setting him up for an unhealthy attitude towards food by forcing the meat issue...not sure what to do about that.
    Idk, I think it's better he learn to eat good food than think he can get away with just eating sugary treats for his whole life because that's what he wants to do...and less sugar could possibly even balance out some of his misbehaving. I don't have kids, this is just my 2 cents.

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    fuzzylogic's Avatar
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    Don't "force" it. Simply limit his other options so that when he's hungry, meat is what's for dinner....Look at nomnompaleo's sliders, meatballs, and other more kid-friendly food, but serve it to everyone. Sometimes kids find meat stringy and need to get reaccustomed to the taste without the texture issue.

    Fruit, yogurt, and the like are treats. They aren't an option until you eat regular food, but my answer to the kids was always that if they weren't hungry enough to eat what they were given, I wasn't going to waste fancy food by giving it to them. Non emotional, non-negotiable. Remember, it is you who decides because you are the parent. Kids really don't want to be in charge.

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    Leida's Avatar
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    My 5.5 carb fiend is a hit and miss. I try to cook in such a way that it is not offensive to her, and not making a big deal if she doesn't eat. The most important rule is that until meat was not at least tried, no sweet choices (fruit or treat) are allowed. We only have plain yogurt at home, she eats it pretty good with berries, no sugar. I also only buy rice crispies as her cereal.

    I also offer her choices, but no more than 2 choices. If she doesn't like either, she walks away and if she is hungry later, she eats. Or doesn't eat. I also pack all of her food, and forbid dayhome to feed her anything. At first she would bring things home, no the containers all empty and I know that even if she only ate fruit.

    One Primal thing she goes for like a hurricane is Meatzza, she thinks it is the coolest food ever.
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